V. S. Luoma-aho

I tap the neck of a jaguar in order to make it reach tremolo.

When choked all I see is red haze. But this, too, is a change.
More notes on the transvestite nature of technology.

Eventually we will need to insert little machines inside ourselves,
in order to be able to spend time together.

These arpeggios aren’t making any sense.

I’ve been tuning my instruments to the frequencies
of different body parts; my goal is to find the exact points
of resonation. To boil, to explode, to dance.

I start to lose my sense of balance, my apple tastes different.
My eyes swell shut, like the eyes of some lizard yearning for the sun.

No body could endure this. Technology of vomit.

The physics of a face. Horn-shaped tumors like thoughts.

From the torn string of an instrument a sound hangs like a violin would.

Screws and nuts fascinate us because of the spiral structures in nature,
because of the vertiginous dance. I code my dreams into the widely
spread ticks, so only neurotic phobics will be saved.
Encephalitis, spiritual care, superfluous rheumatic staircases.

A storm of insects. My eyelids fester.
They would like to become translucent.
The inversed form, the true form.

The muscles surrounding the eye get tired.
The face is only an attempt by my unreal self to hide itself.

Jellyfish need brine, I keep telling myself, but still I
search for them in freezers, in streams, in drains.

I fly on the back of a large, intelligent insect.

It takes a half a year for the cat to kill a mouse.

A louse that enters the tongue of a fish eats it
and pretends to be the tongue itself.

We experienced the Saviour specifically as a face,

the blueprint of which no imagination has ever etched
into our minds. Just the model of the beard,

the hatching on the face.

I pretend to be a great dead tree.
Pain is a sign of sensation returning.

In a sense, my language is a virus, for it alters the structure
of an eye depth wise. You could wind wire around it, conduct
electricity into its form.

All this is written in parables, for fever
and parasitic diseases torment me.

If I get eaten, my seed will spread out.

The carcass of a cow taints my water supply.
I would need some kind of a talisman to purify it.

The moon darkens as the shadow of Earth falls.

The Earth darkens like veins as the shadow of my branches fall.
The branches bend and snap.

Hair, fuzz, bark and needles are the manifestations
of my dry skin in this world.

I want the world to remind me about other ways of being.

The tombstone might explode into tiny and smooth, suspiciously
ceramic pebbles, amid which he could rise from like a dark,
intelligent multi-purpose appliance.

When the sun sets, light remains floating without
any attachments.

Whose insides shall I etch with this hieroglyph?

These roots drying in the wind?

Occasionally the charred trees of a burnt down forest
are too beautiful, too precious to be used as firewood.

Sometimes I return to the forest.

A crab walks on the sand, the crab steps on the coal,
the crab ripens, its innards are now edible.

I dissolve it in my gestures, the placid thoughts
of murky waters. The signs of a hunt, the rock
hauled by the withdrawing ice age.

Wind has blown in to my throat.
Horse flies exploding in the campfire.

I add it to the structure, as if it were a handful of clay added to the wall.
The air will not be fresh after an ice age, only fetid.

In the puddles deep within caves
blind, ancient fish reside.

Describing the act of eating rouses my hunger
every time, even if it’s furniture and tableware being eaten.

An aching head draws serrated scrawls
over images, like a colorblind computer that
is unable to recognize the necessary visual conditions.

You have to remove the reverse shot, remove the view
of the reverse echo, remove the scenery’s instinct
of nurturing an impairment

My only remaining option is to eat the body of a man.
I sit down and wait for him to digest, dissolve, and settle.

The worms have risen onto the surface among the sprigs,
together they begin to form squares that still lack a side here and there.

The ruin of a small maze begins to take shape. I held my hands
under water until they no longer felt a thing.

It is like stepping inside a pyramid, like falling asleep
in running water, in the routine of walking.


V. S. Luoma-aho is a finnish poet and translator born in 1984 and living in Jyväskylä. He is a member of Poesia Co-operative. Luoma-aho’s poetics make use of swift transitions and stark juxtapositions mixing the mundane everyday with the epic and the absurd. His influences span from the surrealist fragments of Donald Barthelme to Hollywood movies, and science fiction. Luoma-aho’s poems have been translated into Italian and Portuguese.